Students participate in charity collection event

The carpool line at St. Catherine of Siena School deposited more than just students in Metairie on Tuesday morning — the hour and 15 minute drop-off process was also used to collect books and sports equipment for a Super Bowl-related collection effort.

As part of the National Football League’s “Super Kids-Super Sharing” project, area schools have been collecting new and used books and sports equipment during the past few weeks to be given to children, schools and other local organizations in need.

About 30 public, private, and parochial schools in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes participated.

Kim Holder and Cara Beckmann, co-chairs of St. Catherine’s “SCS Cares Committee” decided to hold the drive on a single day and make it as easy as possible for parents so they wouldn’t even have to get out of their cars. Holder said that when the school chooses a charity event, the goal is to find ways for the students to participate. She said they also like to involve their students in efforts that help other local kids. By encouraging students to go through their own closets, garages, and bookshelves, Holder said she hopes that when they are older, giving back will be second nature.

The seventh-grade class at St. Catherine worked at unloading donations from the car pool line, boxing them and loading them into a truck. In just over an hour, Holder said they collected more than 2,000 books and more than 400 pieces of sports equipment.

“We want to show that it can be easy and doesn’t take money to help,” Holder said. The Super Kids event was perfect she said, in that “It doesn’t cost anything, and it takes just a little time and a little effort to make a huge impact.”

On Thursday at the Kingsley House, the donations will be collected, sorted and then passed along to pre-selected children and organizations who can use them, including the Kingsley House and the New Orleans Recreation Department. The St. Catherine’s seventh-graders will volunteer at Thursday’s event as well.

Kim Holder’s son, Jonathan, was one of the seventh-graders who arrived at school early to help run the carpool collection. Jonathan said he had a good time and was pleased with the results. He said he helped pick out some of his own books and baseball equipment to donate.

“I wanted to do it, because there are kids less fortunate than me and might not have what I have,” Jonathan said.